Edition 2021

Foto omschrijving: Teenage mother holding a baby and a mobile phone

How many girls become teenage mothers?

In 2020, 1,194 children were born to a teenage mother. In 2010, that figure was in excess of 2,500 children. This makes the Netherlands one of the countries in the European Union with the lowest number of teenage births per thousand 15 to 19‑year-old girls.

How many girls become teenage mothers?EU-278.8per 1,000Neighbouring countriesExtremesNetherlands2.5per 1,000United Kingdom12.0 per 1,000BelgiumBulgaria41.0per 1,000Denmark2.0 per 1,000Germany5.1per 1,0007.0 per 1,000

In Denmark, too, comparatively few children are born to girls under the age of 20. In the Netherlands, 2.5 girls per thousand 15 to 19‑year-olds had a child in 2019; in Denmark that figure was 2. The EU country with the highest number of teenage mothers is Bulgaria (41 mothers per thousand girls). As in the Netherlands, the number of teenage mothers in the EU as a whole has decreased over the past decade.

Number of teenage mothers halved in ten years

Most teenage girls who gave birth to a child, over 80 percent, were 18 or 19 years of age. A small share is 16 years or younger when giving birth to their child. The number of teenage births has fallen in all age categories. The number of teenage mothers has been falling for some time. At the beginning of this century, there were around 3,500. That amounted to 7 to 8 mothers for every thousand girls aged under 20. Whereas in 2010 this was still 5.2 per thousand, this figure had fallen to 2.4 per thousand girls in 2020.

Teenage mothers
jaar Under 16 16 yrs 17 yrs 18 yrs 19 yrs
2000 94 230 482 878 1673
2001 103 268 564 957 1677
2002 100 235 501 977 1703
2003 105 212 468 941 1614
2004 70 176 421 836 1501
2005 70 156 387 726 1456
2006 56 161 351 691 1290
2007 63 151 370 676 1283
2008 62 131 346 757 1257
2009 71 123 382 763 1297
2010 47 128 310 730 1321
2011 56 115 300 674 1220
2012 60 110 298 638 1097
2013 49 108 235 544 965
2014 47 88 229 494 938
2015 37 94 207 401 831
2016 27 68 192 403 802
2017 24 67 187 364 768
2018 28 55 160 358 722
2019 14 49 151 333 712
2020 23 54 148 328 641

Children of teenage mothers less likely to live with two parents

Compared to children with older mothers, children of teenage mothers are less often born to parents who are married or living together. Almost a third of the children of teenage mothers are born to two cohabiting parents, compared to 90 percent of the children with an older mother. Proportionally, they are more often born into a single-parent family (27 percent) or into another household (41 percent). This picture has not changed over the past ten years. Previous research showed that children of teenage mothers relatively often end up in a so-called three-generation family, in which the teenage mother lives with the child with her parent(s).

Live births, by age of mother and type of household, 2020 (%)
leeftijd Couple Single-parent household Other household
Under 20 31.8 27.4 40.8
20-24 yrs 73.1 15.5 11.4
25-29 yrs 90.1 7.7 2.3
30-34 yrs 92.6 6.3 1.1
35-39 yrs 89.0 10.0 1.1
40 and over 80.9 18.0 1.2

Teenage mothers

Teenage mothers are girls who had a child in the year under review and who were under the age of 20 on the day their child was born.

The Youth Monitor reports on all girls who were younger than 20 at the beginning of the year and had a child. In 2020, this group counted 1,643 girls; in 2010, this figure was 3,207.

The questions


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Explanation of symbols

Empty cell figure not applicable
. figure is unknown, insufficiently reliable or confidential
* provisional figure
** revised provisional figure
(between two numbers) inclusive
0 (0.0) less than half of unit concerned
2016–2017 2016 to 2017 inclusive
2016/2017 average for the years 2016 up to and including 2017
2016/’17 crop year, financial year, school year etc., beginning in 2016 and ending in 2017
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